Friday, July 30, 2004

Baseball, cops, & sharks

I took off work yesterday at lunch to visit with friends who are staying with us this week.  I would have loved to take more time off, but for some odd reason I'm expected to get my work done.

Anyway, we found out the Astros had $5 seats for adults and $1 for kids for the game yesterday afternoon.  After we spend 25 minutes locating a suitable parking spot, pay the $10 to park, and hike it to the stadium, we find out those seats are sold out.  And the only ones left are $17.50.  Even for the kids.  The men decide to go talk to the scalpers who were hounding us when we walked by.  First they had to get cash.  After finally locating a cash machine, they start the negotiations.  The Mr. Undercover Cop in the Straw Hat pops out of the parking lot and asks for everyone's ID.  Not knowing the law on scalping, they dutifully stand by awaiting punishment.  Meanwhile, we are watching the whole scene.  After 15 minutes, with the cop completely ignoring the guys, I call my husband.

Me: "Hey- you busted?"
Him: "Don't know yet."
Me: "So, why don't you just walk away then?"
Him: "Think I should?"
Me: "Yeah."

Two other guys walk up to the group and ask if they have any tickets for sale.  Note the cop is still writing the citation and has a huge badge hanging around his neck.  Cop tells them that selling tickets is illegal.  The other guys ask what about buying them?  Cop says no, our men decide they can leave safely now. 

We all start the long hike back to the car and one of the scalpers is walking off, citation in hand.  He asks us if we still want the tickets.  The game started over an hour before by this point, so we decide to head over to the Aquarium.  If you haven't been, don't bother.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Blogging NOT Journalism

Well, isn't that special.  The Houston Chronicle stating that blogging is not journalism because:

"mainstream journalism, which strives for objectivity and embraces professional standards of reporting"

Yeah, right -insert eye roll here-.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Trading Spouses

Trading Spouses happens to come alphabetically right behind Trading Spaces.  So, as I'm scrolling through the TIVO list, I decide to record.  Basically, two moms switch houses for one week and then they each get 50K.  Sounds interesting enough.  One family is a very affluent and the other is very middle class. 

OH MY GOODNESS.  I try really hard to not be judgmental, but one of the moms was beyond belief.  I mean a real piece of work.  First, she starts in on the other mom's daughter about her weight.  Talking to her about carbs and carbs are bad and chicken wings will kill you, etc.  The lady's own son is overweight, but I guess that's excusable since her daughter's not.  What a double standard.

One of my favorite scenes is the kids going in to wake her up at 8 am and she yells at them and tells them she's not getting up.  Or when she's hungry and wants the husband to go out and get her a sandwich.  He tries to explain that they don't have the money to just go out whenever they feel like it and she needs to eat something they have.  No, I don't want that.  You need to do something quick, I feel sick. 

One of the assigned tasks is to host a party for the family's friends and family.  Well, she gets on the kids to start cleaning and turns off the tv.  No tv watching today.  Then she tells the camera she believes in leading by example and next scene she's watching the baseball game in her room while the kids are doing chores. 

The other mom, the middle class one, was a sweetheart.  She really connected with the other family.  She was very uncomfortable with the family's lifestyle where the live-in mother-in-law was treated like a slave.  I bet her family was extremely thankful to have her back.   Ahhh, trash tv at it's finest.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Voice mail

I return from my afternoon break to find my message light blinking.

3:41 pm "Hey, it's me.  I did something stupid.  Call me."
3:42 pm "I'm on my cell phone."
3:50 pm "Never mind.  I'm getting the oil changed and I forgot my wallet.  I have to leave my cell phone as collateral.  So don't call, I won't answer"

Computer highjacked and cat's at the vet

This morning I had the fun task of watching the computer technician try and remove all the crap from my computer.  Even ad-aware couldn't catch it all and it would crash every time he tried to run it.  Over two hours later, he finally has it cleaned up.  Of course then I got the lecture, be careful where you go on the net, blah, blah, blah.  Yeah, I know.

Sunday, when my cat didn't wake me up at 6 am for his morning feeding, I started growing concerned.  He'd been vomiting and I thought it was a reaction to the shots he got at his checkup Friday (another story in itself).  When I realized Sunday he couldn't walk and he couldn't pee, I rushed him to the emergency clinic.  He had to have a catheter inserted and the next morning and $620 later, we take him to our regular vet.  This morning he's having his urethra removed.  Hopefully he'll be home tonight or tomorrow night, poor little guy. 

I feel guilty because he's really been an annoyance since having kids.  I really thought I didn't care about him.  But when the thought that he wouldn't make it crossed my mind, I realized I still hold him dear in my heart.  And completely broke down.  At the clinic, in the car, at home, at work.  He's going to be okay.  He has to.

Monday, July 26, 2004

No time right now

Too busy playing with the Palm V that Michael let me borrow.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Did you wash your hands?

I'm walking out of the building after work today and I hold the door open for the woman behind me.  For some reason, I say thank you when she walks through.  Has motherhood consumed me so much that I'm now teaching manners to adults?  I'm just glad I didn't say "now say thank you" in my best mother knows best voice.  Oy.

Fire Drill

As Michael and I are enjoying our afternoon diet coke break, we notice masses of people exiting the building.  That's strange.  Maybe it's quitting time.  Why are they still hanging around?  Next security guards are abuzz with activity.  Official looking people with orange vests strut by.  We're still sitting, watching, quietly sipping our sweet, caffeinated nectar.  More people exit.  The tension is high- is it a fire drill asks one?  No, answers official man in the orange vest.  We weren't informed of one.  It must be a real fire. 

After several phone calls by security (who were they calling anyway?) everyone was told to return to their desks.  So what would have happened if it actually was a fire?  Would we eventually have been asked to go outside? 

Lotto winner

Feel good post of the day....

Soldier Home from Iraq Strikes it Rich in Lottery

FINE! I give up.

I'm not sure what my aversion to PDA's has been.  Maybe I thought I was avoiding geekdom if I didn't have one.  I must face the fact that I'm a geek anyway, right now just an unorganized geek.  Or maybe it's if I actually saw everything I needed to do, I would just collapse into a heap of tears.  Whatever the reason, I must face my fears.

My post-it note method of organization is beginning to fail me.  I have lists on this one, phone numbers on this one, to-do's on another and I never have the right one at the right time.  I'm tired of transferring appointments between the calendar at work, the calendar at home, and the calendar in my planner.  I can't cram one more "to-do" in my head without 10 falling out.

Maybe I should just hire a personal assistant.  Or get a wife.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

What did the author mean?

I never understood this exercise in school.  My engineering mind always thought "duh- he means what he says, right?".  Apparently not, or at least not to those wanting to read between the lines.  I'm in the mood to use my brain today.  I've always been intrigued by Rush's lyrics and thought I would try to figure out what they really mean.

One Little Victory
(Vapor Trails)

A certain measure of innocence
Willing to appear naive
A certain degree of imagination
A measure of make-believe

A certain degree of surrender
To the forces of light and heat
A shot of satisfaction
In a willingness to risk defeat

Celebrate the moment
As it turns into one more
Another chance of victory
Another chance to score

The measure of the moment
Is a difference of degree
Just one little victory
A spirit breaking free
One little victory
The greatest act can be
One little victory

A certain measure of righteousness
A certain amount of force
A certain degree of determination
Daring on a different course

A certain amount of resistance
To the forces of life and love
A certain measure of tolerance
A willingness to rise above

Let's see.  Fight for what you believe in even if it seems you are fighting the impossible.  One person can make a difference.  Told you I wasn't very good at this.

Today's the day

My husband has an interview with Southwest Airlines today.  It's an 8 hour interview by three different pilots and is intense.  He has been working towards this ever since he got his pilot's license 17 years ago.  And the day is finally here. 
I remember in high school when he decided to get his private pilot's license.  And the first time he flew me in the plane.  And when he moved to Florida for flight school.  And when he got his first job as a commercial airline pilot.  It all seems like just yesterday.
17 years is a lot of pressure to cumulate in one day.  I am so proud of him; his determination, discipline, and foresight.  And whether he gets the job or not, I'll still be proud of him.  He is my hero.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Naked cheese
Police arrested a drunk, naked guy covered in cheese in Tennessee on his 23rd birthday. 
Happy birthday to me!
Happy birthday to me!
Happy birthday to drunk, naked guy,
I'm covered in cheese! 
Or perhaps he was inspired by the group, Big Naked Cheese.  I'm not making this up:

Interview with the CIA

Here's an article from USA Today interviewing a terrorism expert in the CIA:
Basically, he says that Al Qaeda is attacking the US because of specific policies in the Middle East, not because of our culture.  It is rather egocentric to assume a group of people want to kill us because of who we are.  It does make more sense that they hate what we are doing to them.
The specific policies mentioned are:
  "Support for Israel that allows the Israelis to dominate the Palestinians.
    U.S., Western troops on the Arabian Peninsula.
    Occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan.
    Support for Russia, India and China against the Muslim militants there.
    Pressure on Arab energy producers to keep oil prices low.
    U.S. support for corrupt Muslim governments.
    Source: Imperial Hubris"

Monday, July 19, 2004

Running season has begun

Timing's right.  It's ALMOST the hottest part of the season.  What better time to get consistent on my running again.  Did I mention that I run during lunch?  Fortunately, I'm used to the quizzical looks and comments of concern when I come back sweaty and red-faced: "are you okay?" but mostly "are you crazy?". 
I'm not officially running with this year, but I will be following along with the schedule.  I figure I can train for the half marathon on my own and I really don't feel like waking up at 4 am on Saturday mornings for a group training run.
Now that you know, keep me honest.  Ask me how my training's going.

Friday, July 16, 2004

Martha's sentenced to the slammer

Well, I lost the bet.  Martha's sentenced to 5 months in prison:
Here's my question of the day: she also gets 2 years of probation.  Isn't the purpose of probation to make sure no criminal activity occurs during this time?  Drug offenders, child molesters, armed robbers, hey- I can understand how they'll check up on this.  But liars?  Will she have to take a polygraph every time the probation officer comes for a visit?

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Baptists are Saving Homosexuals

This is the funniest read I've had today. Okay, it's still early, but thanks to Mister Crunchy for the link.

Is Bush Gay?

Random Musings

I was thinking this morning about the purpose of debate. For me, it's more than entertainment or a game. It's to get the other person to hear your view point and not necessarily to accept it, but to at least gain additional perspective. Often, I try to take the opposite stance just to point out issues that person may not have thought about. Some call it being a contrarian. I think of it more as developing compassion.

I was not born a compassionate person, but I continually try to think about the reason why others make the decisions that they do and to not judge them for it. It's not an easy task, but it helps to read about other's lives. My childhood was safe and full of people who loved me and wanted the best for me. But many people did not have this luxury and it affects every decision in their lives.

I also figured out why statistics annoy me. It's not just because you can pretty much prove anything you want to by picking the right people to interview (like the LA times, as reported by Michael at Chasing the Wind) but more because it reduces people to a number. They no longer are a human being with feelings, emotions, loved ones, and stories.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

My wish for the day

I wish common, network printers were able to sort by person sending the job. That way I wouldn't have to sort through 10 other people's printouts and the schmuck who printed right before I did wouldn't walk off with my stuff. Makes me think I'm crazy. I printed it, I KNOW I printed it, didn't I? Maybe I didn't.

Gay Marriage

I don't get the argument that marriage is a religious institution in addition to legal as being a fair argument against gay marriage. Are there not religions that accept homosexuality? Does this mean that only religious people can marry? Sorry, atheists, all your marriages are considered null and void. Here's someone who says it better than I can:

"I don't care if 90% of the country is against gay marriage; that only means that 90% of the country is wrong and unConstitutional. You can't argue that whatever the majority wants is right for the country. Who cares what the majority want? In America, we make our laws based upon what is lawful, just and equitable; not upon what the majority want. We've never done it that way and we never should."


"I don't care what your church wants. I don't even care what I want or what you want. I only care what is fair. And treating gays as if they have no right to marry is unfair, unConstitutional and unAmerican."

Tuesday, July 13, 2004


Even the most die-hard Republican has to admit that our president does not come across as the most, er, intelligent human being. I stumbled onto a site with various Bushisms. Here are some of my favorites:

"I mean, there needs to be a wholesale effort against
racial profiling, which is illiterate children."

"Our nation must come together to unite."

"You teach a child to read, and he or her will be able to
pass a literacy test."

Master at stating the obvious, eh?

"For every fatal shooting, there were roughly three non-
fatal shootings. And, folks, this is unacceptable in
America. It's just unacceptable. And we're going to do
something about it."

Here's one to inspire the kids:

"To those of you who received honors, awards and
distinctions, I say, well done. And to the C students, I say
to you: you, too, can be president of the United States.
-- George W. Bush, receiving an honorary degree at Yale,
quoted from Newsweek, June, 4, 2001

What's the point?

I was enjoying my morning read of the Houston Chronicle as I read Tom Brokaw's candid review of F9/11:

"(The movie) is very skillfully done, and he's a master at getting his point of view on the big screen," Brokaw said. "The right has Rush (Limbaugh), and the left has Michael Moore, and they are very good at presenting their points of view, saying, 'This is factual.' Truth is a little more elusive, and it's the arrangement of those facts. I do worry about young people (who are typically not viewers of the evening news) seeing the movie as the gospel."

But then a quote from a political pollster rubbed me the wrong way:

"John Kerry — his campaign is more effective than he is. George Bush's ad campaign is completely ineffective because it is all produced in an editing studio. If you look at his ads, there's no humanity, there's no personality, there's little of him except for him walking, which is stupid. And I apologize if you're from Texas, but there's something wrong with the way people from Texas walk. I mean, these people walk like they own not just America but Europe, as well."

Seems like a great quote to put in the HOUSTON Chronicle. So, not only is there something wrong with the rifle hanging in the back of my pickup, my cowboy hat, and horse, now there's something wrong with the way I walk. *snort*

Monday, July 12, 2004

Moving to Israel

Saw something on the news this morning that disturbed me. (Actually, every time I watch the news it disturbs me which is why I rarely watch the local news.) There is a group, Nefesh B'Nefesh, who is loaning people money to move to Israel. If you stay for at least three years, it becomes a grant. A couple with young children was featured on the show this morning. Now, let me preface this by saying, I am not Jewish and therefore do not understand the spiritual connection to Israel. But why would anyone move their children to that environment? Of course they showed this bit right after the scenes from the latest suicide bomber. If people have to be paid to move to a country, what does that tell you? The first job as a parent is to protect your child from harm. Not move them to a war zone.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Received good customer service from your cell phone carrier?

I bet Mister Crunchy's phone hasn't stopped ringing to buy his latest ad idea. Check out his rendition for Sprint.

My personal favorite are the new Verizon commercials with everyone waiting for their contract to expire. The irony is I'm doing that with them; can't wait for the contract to end so I can switch to Cingular.

Politicians lie!

I found a refreshing rant on Asymmetrical Information about lying politicians and a lying Michael Moore trying to pass of his propoganda as truth.

Here's my favorite exerpt:
If you want to sign off on Michael Moore's tactics because George Bush misled people, you will have not a leg to stand on when your guy misleads people. As he will. Of course, you and everyone who agrees with you will stand around yelling very loudly that what your guy did wasn't lying, not a bit like what those scurrilous bastards on the other side got up to. However, as you may have already noticed, no one except people who already agree with you pays any attention when you say things like this. And the reason that they pay no attention is that it is not true. If you'd step outside the college pep rally atmosphere that passes for partisanship these days, you would already have figured this out.

Some people seem so clouded by their beliefs that they can't see the faults on their team. This is exactly what turns people like myself off to the whole process. Makes me crazy. Can't you see the mud you're slinging at the other side is the same mud on you?

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Card carrying republican

The other day my husband said something that I felt was very enlightened. I asked him whether he's been filling me with hot air and just taking the opposite view of mine or whether I've been wearing off on him. He stated Courtney, I am a card carrying Republican. Then a pause, and then, aren't I? I answered no, I registered you as a Democrat. And you voted for Al Gore in the last election :)

That's what happens when you let the evil woman handle all the details.

Office Space

If you haven't seen the movie and you work for a large corporation, you must. This article lists some common office annoyers. I'm sure you know one or more of each. Now I'm just wondering which one I am....

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Testing 1 2 3

Since Michael at Chasing the Wind was kind enough for the track back ping lesson, I just had to try it out.

So much to learn, so little time :)

My religion

There is something that most people don't know about me. I don't believe in God. I don't typically share that information not because I am uncomfortable, but because it makes others uncomfortable. Like I can no longer be a good person. That disturbs me to think others must believe in some higher power or be rewarded in some afterlife to keep them good. I strive to treat others how I want to be treated.

I was raised Disciples of Christ (similar to Methodist) and the church baptizes when you are around 13. I went through the weeks of study in preparation to the baptism and remember thinking, the bible's a great book and all, but to me, it's fiction. I felt like the biggest hypocrite, but I had no choice because I did not want to disappoint my family.

I met my future husband a few years later and discovered that he felt the same way I did. It was the first time I had discussed my beliefs with anyone else. When we were engaged, we had several people express their concern because he was Jewish and I was Christian. We have struggled on how to raise our children. I think religion (or lack thereof) is a deeply personal decision and I would like my children to be exposed to as much as possible to make an informed decision when the time comes. Our focus is on teaching them becoming good, honest people.

I do have spiritual moments in my life and those usually involve feeling at peace with myself and my surroundings. Like hiking up the Canadian Rockies and looking down on Lake Louise or hiking through the mountains in Vermont and overlooking the changing foliage. Or looking into my children's inquisitive eyes.

Technical problems

I've tried adding the referrals and at first, it stopped the page wherever it ended on the sidebar. So I deleted it and tried again. Then it deleted all my links. Now I'm trying to rebuild my links. ARG. I have no idea what is going on. Problem is I don't know what I'm doing and trial and error is not working too well for me. ARG ARG.

Friday, July 02, 2004

Howard Stern coming to Houston

I find it amazing all the uproar about Stern coming to Houston's airwaves. I've begrudgingly watched his show on 'E' thanks to dear husband several times over the years. Personally, I can't stand the guy. But I am not in the least upset over him airing here. I just won't listen. It's that simple.

Here's an interesting debate on chronically biased. What really gets me is how people get so offended when someone disagrees with their opinion. Seems some of the narrow-minded people are unable to have an intellectual conversation and resort to name calling. Ain't just liberals doing it, my friends.

Email lore

Swiffer Wet Jet killed my dog! Pass this on to at least 10 people and you will receive $100 check for each person! Rat droppings kill in Hawaii! Maybe you have people in your life who continually send on email urban legends. I have one in particular who continues to send me this crap. For awhile I would send these back with the appropriate link to debunking the myth, but that was like trying to teach a kitten how to knit. I give up.


Go Houston! A group of mothers met at the Galleria to protest a security guard's request for a breastfeeding mother to move it to the bathroom. I don't understand how others could be offended when a mother feeds her child. If they are not comfortable, they can just look away. Now I could understand if she stood up, got completely undressed, and proceeded to parade around in public with a baby hanging off her boob. I know I always made sure there was nothing in view to offend. People just need to grow up and gain a little maturity.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

¡Venido en la gente responda!

Déjeme saber que usted está aquí y por favor interactivo. Está agujereando sin usted que comenta. Y si nadie está aquí y leyendo, por favor indiferencia justa.

A propósito, encontré este website realmente fresco (aceptable, no lo encontré, pero Michael ) que traducirá para usted. Compruébelo hacia fuera aquí.

My dear coworker

I am beginning to think my coworker and fellow blogger is dropping lines into his blogs to see if I'm paying attention.

For example, he states that independents are too busy watching senseless television to form an opinion here.

And an entire entry here about Bush winning the presidency due to 'missing voters'.

And again here a generalization about non-Christians that has since been corrected. I don't think this one was intentional, though.

Note to Michael: Adorable Rodent :)

I hate shopping

I went shopping during lunch yesterday and it was a miserable experience. One of my college roommates is having a party this weekend. I feel competitive towards her thanks to my mother and my husband always talking about how adorable she is. And now that she's pregnant, I get the "Ohhh, I bet she'll be one of the cute pregnant ladies!". Yes, I get the implication. Hard to be cute when you've gained half your body weight.

I walk in the store, determined to find an outfit that makes me look adorable. I'd wear something from my closet, but I still have 15 more pounds to get back to pre-pregnancy weight. The past year I've been stealing my husband's clothes and I'm tired of looking like a fat woman in men's clothes. So I pick out the cutest capris and vibrant shirts I can find. Only I'm not sure what size I wear right now. So I get several sizes. And everything looked terrible. White capris??? What was the look I was going for- Oompa Loompa? I ended up buying a khaki pair but they are more like high waters on my 5'3" frame. I think I'm taking them back. I'm really glad I resisted the swim suit rack.

So, I'll just return to my happy land of denial. Until Saturday night when I'm trying to get dressed for the party and have nothing to wear. Blue jeans and grey knit shirt anyone?

What makes me happy

A dear friend of mine who has heart problems was whisked off to the hospital this morning. I haven't heard any updates and have a pit in the bottom of my stomach not knowing. Since there is nothing I can do at this time, I'm trying to think of what in my life makes me happy.

1) A random kiss or hug from my kids
2) My son telling me he loves me
3) My husband getting home from a four day trip
4) A call, email, or letter from a friend
5) Spending the day with family
6) Crawling into bed after a long day
7) Bubble baths with a glass of wine and a magazine
8) Going for a run
9) Having the house neat and clean
10) Weekends

What makes you happy?